By Shane Speakman, VP of UCaaS, Telarus
Welcome to my blog series, “What’s New In CX.” I’m excited to cover key developments in the CX space to help fuel your success as a technology advisor to your customers in the digital era!
A relatively unknown technology just a few years ago, CPaaS (communications platform as a service) is quickly taking the spotlight alongside CCaaS and UCaaS as our partners look to diversify their portfolio and help their customers remain competitive. A recent study from Juniper Research found that the value of the CPaaS market will reach $29 billion globally by 2025, rising from $16 billion in 2022.
In this blog, I’ll discuss how you can leverage new developments in CPaaS to grow your CX business now. I’ll also share some tips on how to dovetail the CPaaS sales conversation with UCaaS and Contact Center discussions you’re having already.
How CPaaS is different from UCaaS and CCaaS
If you’re new to CPaaS, think of it as a technology buffet, while UCaaS and CCaaS are all-in-one technology stacks.
CPaaS is a cloud-hosted software platform providing communication APIs that plug into a company’s existing business application(s) code, adding new functionality like voice calling, SMS texting, and video conferencing. It’s next-level messaging that can augment a UCaaS, CCaaS, CRM, or other existing communications software. Businesses can pick the APIs they want and pay on a per-use basis.
Common CPaaS use cases we know and love:
- Texting your Uber driver and attaching a photo of your location. Phone numbers are masked to protect privacy.
- Receiving an appointment reminder on your phone from your doctor’s office, with a link to pre-visit instructions.
- Asking the chatbot on your favorite shopping site the status of your recent order and receiving detailed updates in real time.
New “low-code/no-code” APIs make it easy for CPaaS to augment existing applications
While CPaaS used to be developer-driven and difficult to use, “low-code/no-code” API tools are becoming more accessible for SMEs to quickly implement one-off tools or customize with multiple APIs under one platform for a more dynamic customer journey. For example, let’s say a sales rep uses Salesforce CMS for email outreach to a prospect. As soon as the system notifies the rep that the prospect has opened the email, they are able to click to call out to the prospect directly within the CMS. That is CPaaS at work. It’s built on top of the existing system to customize the technology your customer has already invested in. The same goes for a customer whose client isn’t ready to let go of their 10-year-old PBX system but they’d like to add on IVR features and record customer interactions for training purposes. Those are add-ons from a CPaaS provider.
In a recent interview I had with CPaaS Acceleration Alliance co-founder Kevin Nethercott, he pointed out that the lines between CPaaS, CCaaS, and UPaaS are blurring. “Today, every SME should be focusing on customer-centric experiences to delight and retain customers and meet them where they are. Low-code/no-code makes it easier than ever for these businesses to have a CPaaS strategy that works with their CCaaS environments and vice-versa,” said Nethercott. The key is finding the right vendor for your customers’ needs.
Beyond SMS: Current trends for CPaaS
As CPaaS continues to gain popularity among any business looking to meet consumer expectations in the digital economy, here are top trends to keep in mind:
- RCS to enhance the customer digital experience. Texting and messaging are integral to our daily communications, and SMS certainly isn’t going away. Juniper Research predicts that SMS traffic revenue will still account for over 50% of all CPaaS revenue by 2025. But RCS (rich communications services), which include email and social media, will continue to expand and is forecasted to account for over $10 billion of revenue by 2025. While SMS is asynchronous, RCS provides a drastically different user experience. It allows businesses to schedule appointments, send catalogs, share video content, and more – all inside a messaging app. In 2023, we can expect to see more CPaaS providers offering video conferencing capabilities. This will enable developers to build apps that allow users to have face-to-face conversations with each other, even if they are not in the same location.
- AI integrations: Artificial intelligence is being integrated into every aspect of technology, and CPaaS is no exception. Expect to see CPaaS solutions that leverage AI to provide more personalized and intelligent communication experiences. For example, CPaaS providers will use AI to improve speech-to-text transcriptions and analyze call data to provide insights on customer satisfaction and how to improve their customer service. This will greatly expand the available data set and eliminate the need for costly customer surveying. Additionally, AI and chatbot technology will continue to ramp up the ability to provide personalized interactions to consumers at scale.
- Increased security features: As more businesses and industries adopt CPaaS, security concerns are becoming more prevalent. CPaaS providers will offer more robust security features to protect sensitive user data. This could include two-factor authentication, encryption, and other security measures.
- Expansion into new verticals: CPaaS has seen significant adoption in certain industries, like healthcare. With the pandemic changing the way healthcare services are delivered, there is a growing need and expectation for virtual consultations, remote patient monitoring, and telemedicine. CPaaS solutions enable healthcare providers to build HIPAA-compliant communication platforms that allow patients to securely communicate with doctors and nurses. This year, expect to see CPaaS providers expanding into new industries, such as education and logistics, as more businesses realize the value of embedding communication features into their applications.
The secret to selling CPaaS: Be a good listener
There is no shortage of ways that CPaaS can help businesses stay competitive and meet the engagement expectations of today’s digital consumer. As a trusted business advisor, you have the opportunity to introduce the benefits of CPaaS as part of your customers’ existing CX technology stack simply by being a good listener. Ask them what they are missing in their current stack when it comes to meeting end users where they are, and whether they are collecting insights from their transactions.
As always, your Telarus Advanced Solutions team is here for you. To learn more about CX and how Telarus services, solutions, and tools can help accelerate your business, contact me at email@example.com.